When To Find The Best Weather In Alaska
Winter in Alaska can be bitterly cold, which means most visitors head north in the summer. Temperatures are highest June through August, with highs often in the 60s. But as the summer progresses, the chance of rainfall increases. In August the rainiest month of the year the state receives an average of almost three inches. April and May are significantly drier, and only slightly cooler.
Cost Of Alaska Cruise In September
This is a low-demand period because the schools have re-opened and families with kids cant go on cruises anymore.
If you are lucky you may end up grabbing a last-minute Alaska cruise deal from one of the travel agents.
If cost is a concern for you, this is the best time to go on an Alaskan cruise.
However, dont leave the booking to last minute because nowadays everybody wants to cut costs by traveling in the shoulder season.
Sailings On Small Ships And Expeditions
Expedition-style cruises or a trip on a small ship with extra good time ashore for major hiking and even overnight camping is a good idea for active tourists. Cruise fares on expedition ships or small ships which are typically much more expensive than cruises on mass-market cruise ships typically include amenities such as complimentary shore excursions, bikes and kayaks for the visitor, and the presence of naturalists, marine biologists, or other experts who give lectures to guests and lead small-group shore excursions.
With UnCruise Adventures, I planned an Inside Passage itinerary and went with just a few other people. Several varieties of whales like humpback whales swam close to my boat on excursions, and I saw mother bears with their babies, as well as sea lions, harbor seals, and other marine mammals.
Lindblad/National Geographic, Silversea , Ponant, Hurtigruten, UnCruise Adventures, and Alaskan Dream Cruises are among the major expedition and smaller ships competitors.
You May Like: St Johns River Cruises Florida
What To Pack For A Cruise To Alaska In July
July enjoys the warmest average temperatures of the summer , which is why its one of the best times to cruise to Alaska. Be sure to pack a mix of short and long-sleeved T-shirts and waterproof pants that can convert into shorts, in case you get extra sunny and warm days during your cruise.
Chances of rain also increase as the summer months go by, so dont forget to bring all of your rain-related gear, including a light roll-up waterproof jacket, when you cruise in July.
Advantages Of Visiting Alaska In June
- Warming coastal temperatures between 40-60 degrees and even warmer interior temperatures of 50-70 degrees.
- Between 18 to 20 hours of daylight, giving you lots of time to enjoy the Alaskan wilderness and wildlife.
- Wildlife is everywhere in June, with caribou, black bear cubs, mountain goats, moose calves and even polar bears out in force. On the water, pods of beluga whales can be spotted, along with plentiful seabirds and seal pups.
- Cruises offering land tours are available, as all the major national parks open in June.
- The warmer weather and longer daylight hours mean that tourist attractions in towns like Anchorage, Juneau and Fairbanks are fully open.
Recommended Reading: Alaska Cruises 2021 From Seattle
Advantages Of Visiting Alaska In August
- Warm weather, with temperatures between 45-65 degrees and 18 hours of daylight.
- Abundant fishing opportunities, as halibut, northern pike, rainbow trout and salmon are all in season.
- Numerous cruise and land tour packages on offer, giving you access to the breathtaking fall foliage of the Last Frontier.
- As for wildlife, August is peak migration season for songbirds and youll see numerous caribou, bears, beavers, orca and loons on your adventure.
Best Time To Go On An Alaska Cruise Best Price Weather And Wildlife
Alaska cruise season is five months long from May to September.
During these five months, the scenario changes every week.
Every week, one there are noticeable differences in weather, wildlife, and cruise pricing.
Therefore, the best time to go on an Alaskan cruise is rather subjective.
The best time to board an Alaskan cruise depends on whether youre looking for cheap Alaskan cruise options, or the best wildlife experience, or the maximum daylight to enjoy the scintillating Alaskan views.
To help you pick your best time for an Alaskan cruise we have broken down the conditions to expect in three parts.
Best time for an Alaskan cruise if you are interested in:
- Best Alaskan cruise prices
- Best exposure to Alaskan wildlife
- Best Alaskan weather conditions
Our month-by-month break up of what to expect during an Alaskan cruise will help you take an informed decision.
If you are in a hurry to know whats the best time for a cruise to Alaska, here is our short answer: Any month is a good month to be on an Alaskan cruise.
However, the locals of Alaska, and those who are part of the Alaskan tourism industry suggest the most favorable time for an Alaskan cruise is between 20 May to 10 June.
This period offers the most beautiful Alaskan weather for a cruise. Besides, there is less crowd as the kids are still in school.
For a more detailed answer to the question What is the best time for an Alaskan cruise continue reading.
Don’t Miss: 1 Day Cruise From Miami
Alaska Cruise Weather In May
- Average Rainfall: 3.48 inches
- Hours of Daylight: 16.5 hours of daylight
Many cruise ships begin their summer deployments to Alaska in May before peak season begins in June.
The Alaska cruise weather in June is fairly cool, but it has the least amount of rainfall during the Alaska cruise season. You can expect Alaska cruise temperatures in May to have lows of around 40 and highs of around 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
May is one of the best times to visit Alaska for dry weather, fewer crowds, and lots of wildlife.
During May, youll find several whale species along Alaskas inside passage. By this time of the year, most of the whales will have completed their migration from the warm waters of Mexico to Alaska, where they will spend the summer.
Spring is also the time to spot newborn wildlife.
You can expect to see lots of snow-capped mountains, and there are fewer insects and mosquitos.
Best Time To Go On An Alaskan Cruise To See Northern Lights
If you want to see Northern Lights in Alaska, the best time to go on an Alaskan cruise is the month of September.
If you plan your Alaskan cruise in September, besides witnessing one of natures wonders, you may also end up grabbing last minute cruise ticket deals.
For the best sighting of Aurora Borealis, you can visit Fairbanks, which is geographically under the auroral oval, the spot where Northern Lights are seen most frequently.
The best time for seeing the aurora during Alaskas winter is 11:30 p.m.3:30 a.m. so make sure you are out there staring at the sky.
While you will witness the Northern Lights during your Alaskan cruise, you may have to sacrifice some wildlife experience because some parts of Denali National Park close in September.
The Gulf of Alaska is the choppiest during this period and if you tend to get seasick, we suggest you plan your Alaska cruise during the calmer months.
Read Also: What Is The Newest Carnival Cruise Ship
What Will The Weather Be Like During My Cruise
Though weather can be hard to predict, especially in Alaska, there are trends thatll help you know what to expect during your summer cruise. So, check the weather before you pack, but these will give you a guesstimate:
Ketchikan: Alaskas first city is also widely known as the rainiest, with 153 inches per year. High temperatures during June, July, and August are typically in the mid-60s. The shoulder season of May and September is generally about 5-10 degrees colder.
Ketchikan Rain Gauge, AK
Sitka: Still in the heart of the Tongass Rainforest, but slightly less rainy, Sitka gets 131 inches of rain per year. High temperatures average in the high 50s to low 60s from June to September, and low 50s in May.
The capital of Alaska sees average highs in the upper 50s and low 60s in May through August, with September highs averaging in the low 50s. Its much less rainy than the previous two at 62 inches, but its still pretty common.
Icy Strait Point: This port near Hoonah has average highs in the upper 50s and low 60s in May through September. Same as Juneau, the rain averages 62 inches. If youre taking a shore excursion from here, be sure to check specific packing recommendations.
Icy Strait Point, AK
Skagway: Its a little warmer and a little less rainy in the land of infamous Soapy Smith, with high averages in the upper 50s and lower 60s May through September and an average rainfall of 27 inches annually.
How To Select The Most Appropriate Alaska Cruise For You
Theres a lot of data to go through when deciding which ship is best for you, so look for a cruise company that caters to your requirements or interests. Consult to different companies, then use to pick a ship that meets your needs, from those with the fewest people to those with the cheapest cruise rates to those that provide the precise itinerary you desire.
You May Like: What Cruise Lines Go To St Thomas
Alaska Cruise In September
Alaska Weather in September: Temperatures in Alaska start to drop in September, with averages in the mid-50s and lows in the low 40s. On top of that it can be even rainier than August, with up to 20 days ofprecipitation. That could put a few of your excursions at risk of being rained out.
Alaska Cruise Prices in September: Prices for average around $1,000 for a seven-night itinerary. Cruise season starts to wind down in September and children head back to school, leading to less demand. You can also look for a last-minute Alaska cruise deal, though keep in mind that with Alaska’s cruise season growing longer, interest in Alaska September cruises is rising.
Hours of Daylight in September: Expect 12 hours of daylight during September in Alaska.
What To Expect On An Alaskan Cruise: Weather And Wildlife
Alaskas reputation for being cold, snow packed and filled with bears is only true if you venture deep inland. On your cruise, you might just be surprise to find weather warmer than winter in the rest of the US!
This isnt to say you wont see glaciers and snow capped peaks, but rather youll see so much more! Our team provides some insights on what you can expect to see and what to pack for your voyage to The Last Frontier.
Recommended Reading: Seven Seas Mariner Cruise Ship
Alaska Cruise In June
Alaska Weather in June: June in Alaska brings mild temperatures and relatively dry skies. Highs are in the low 60s degrees and lows are in the upper 40s. Compared with the rest of the summer months, the weather in June is optimal and shore excursions are less likely to be rained out. While Alaska weather in June brings out the flowers and even greener scenery, expect mosquitoes to be biting.
Alaska Cruise Prices in June: Cruises to Alaska get more expensive in June, with the average cost of a seven-day cruise above $1,300. Nearly every major and mainstream line cruises to Alaska in June, so you’ll have your pick of price points and may even find itineraries under $1,000. You can expect fewer families and crowds in early June than you’ll find in July and August, helping keep demand and prices down just a bit.
Hours of Daylight in June: Like the rest of the summer, June days are long in Alaska. Expect an average of 19 hours of daylight .
Book Your Alaskan Cruise Adventure
At AAA, we offer a wide selection of cruise itineraries to those explorers who want to get up close and personal with Alaskan wildlife, landscape, and culture.
While youre on the boat, youll enjoy delicious and local cuisine, with many of our cruises offering fine-dining options. And in addition to the glaciers outside, you can stay entertained with phenomenal live music performances featuring musicians from The Juilliard School, B.B. Kings Blues Club Memphis, and other institutions.
Interested in planning your next Alaska cruise with AAA?Call your travel agent directly or your nearest AAA store to get pro tips, travel guides, and more.
Interested in planning your next road trip with AAA Washington? Call your travel agent directly or your nearest AAA store to get pro tips, TripTik maps, and more. Find more Pacific Northwest scenic drives and road trips.
Read Also: Cruise Ships In United States
Alaska Cruise Weather: June
If youre planning an Alaska cruise in June, temperatures average a low of 45 and a high of 62. June is tied with July as the least rainy month, with Ketchikan receiving an average rainfall of less than 7.5 inches. Alaska cruise weather in late June is some of the best, with 18 hours of daylight and plenty of sun. If youre lucky, it might even get hot!
With drier ground in June than May, Alaska cruisers can start to hike in earnest. Whether youre hiking on your own or with a guide, be sure to pack appropriate gear, such as backpacks with bear bells, water bottles, snacks, and most important bug spray. The mosquitos start being a nuisance in June.
For other shore excursions, layering is your best bet. You might need a fleece jacket in the morning, but find yourself stripping down to a T-shirt by early afternoon. A packable rain jacket is always good to have on hand, since you never know when youll get caught in a summer squall.
The warmer Alaska weather makes June the best times to see calving glaciers during scenic cruise days. June is also one of the best months for whale-watching late June and early July are the best times for bear-spotting excursions.
Because of the fine Alaska weather in late June, its an excellent time to plan a cruise tour to Denali. The full road will be open, days will be long and dry, and you have an increased chance of seeing active wildlife.
Cruise fares in June will be higher than May, but better than the prime summer months.
Highlights Of An Alaska Cruise In July
Blooming Flora and Wildlife
The summer is a time of celebration in Alaska and July is packed with fun local events that often coincide with your port stops on an Alaska cruise. If your itinerary brings you to Sitka, enjoy the Summer Music Festival, a classical music showcase thats been featuring global acts for over 50 years. When in Juneau, enjoy a spectacular Fourth of July parade and fireworks display, complete with local folklore shows and food vendors. Get a first-hand look at the peak of salmon spawning season in historic Ketchikanand taste delicious Alaskan salmon for yourself at a cookout in the fresh air.
One of the biggest reasons cruises to Alaska in July are so popular is the pleasant temperatures that are conducive to outdoor travel and activity. Yes, it can rainthis is Alaska, after allbut the average daily in most of the state is between 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit, dipping lower after long sunsets, the sky streaked with shades of orange and pink. This means that daytime excursions like hiking and kayaking can be enjoyed without too many layers of clothing, and youll have long, light days to explore and appreciate the pristine nature.
Recommended Reading: All Inclusive Family Cruise Deals 2021
Itineraries To Alaskas Best Places
One of my first cruise trips to Alaska began in Anchorage in the United States in North America. I boarded the Regent Seven Seas Mariner for a cruise via Prince William Sound, Kodiak, and secluded Dutch Harbor before proceeding to Russias Kamchatka Peninsula and Northern Lights.
I was surprised by what I saw in Alaska, and Ive been back numerous times since. While the trip was on a high-end luxury line, big ships in different price ranges sail various routes, so dont allow a lack of funds to keep you from going. I actually had a great time!
Its More Than Snowy Mountains
The wild beauty seen along the coastline on a Alaska cruise is something that travelers will remember for the rest of their lives. Rocky strips of land between the water and stands of old growth trees are common sights from the deck of a cruise ship.Wildlife sightings are frequent as well, with cruise ship passengers reporting spotting:
- grizzly and black bears
Humpback whales are another sight that frequently enthrall cruisers, and its not uncommon to see pods of Orca whales on their annual migration. Other aquatic wildlife includes large schools of Alaskan salmon, dolphins, seals, and sea lions.
What you may not know is:
- Alaska has more coastline than the rest of the US combined .
- Alaska contains more than 100 volcanoes and volcanic fields
- There are more than 3,000 rivers and 3 million lakes in Alaska
- Only about 5% is covered in glaciers
You May Like: Are There Casinos On Norwegian Cruise Ships
Winter Vacations And Prime Aurora Viewing
The northern lights are visible August 20 through April 20. The best time for a winter aurora vacation is February and March. Its still plenty dark at night, but the days are longer and snow conditions are best for dog sledding, snowmobiling, skiing and other winter activities. The best area to view is near Fairbanks. Here are our recommended northern lights viewing tours.